Malou’s Corner

We live in a small place.

47 square meters
or about 505 square feet

and no proper bedroom to speak of.
It’s more like a glorified studio.

We thought we could last about a year here with
Malou
before moving on to a bigger place.

We took out the desk in the corner
and replaced it with a crib.
Decorated the wall around it with some pretty
purple and green dragonflies.
Now it was
Malou’s Corner.

I was so excited for
Malou
to arrive
that I insisted we do this as soon as I hit the
3rd trimester.

Malou
died a month later.

Since then
the crib has turned into a bit of a
shrine.

Here it is, the only time we brought
Malou
home.

The clothes
Malou
wore in the hospital,
pictures,
cards,
books,
dried flowers,
stuffed animals,
and many other mementoes
lay in the crib, instead of our sweet
Malou.

Even after she died
I wanted to continue “finishing” her little corner,
but no one seemed to think that was so
healthy.

We had thought about taking the crib down
many times
but I needed it.
And Tom said I could use as much time as I wanted.

It just felt so wrong to take down
my darling baby’s only corner of the world.

She has made a mark,
I want our house to reflect that.

But I also started realizing that
if

(please, God, when)

we get pregnant again,
we will use the same place,
Malou’s Corner,
and the same crib.

Just like if
Malou
were alive,
we would use
her hand-me-downs
for any second child.

But still
it would be too much
to have
Malou’s Corner
set up for her,
waiting for her,
but then be used by her little brother or sister.

So I thought we should take it down
now
before we know if I am pregnant or not.

So that when we put it up again (hopefully)
it will be still
Malou’s
hand-me-downs
but feel more like a fresh start for a
new little one.
New linens,
perhaps butterflies or trucks
on the wall
instead of dragonflies
(dragonflies are for
Malou
after all).

So on Sunday
(after a good cry with Tom)
I packed up her things
inhaling her beautiful little scent
from her pink ladybug outfit
(and hand-me-down from her cousin
McKenna)
carefully folding it
placing it in a plastic bag
so I hopefully can still
smell her sweetness the next time I open it.

I also took the time
to read through all of the
sympathy cards
we received right after
Malou
died.

It made me cry,
but in a good way.

I remember the fog
the agony
the pain
I was in then.

I can see that I am
better
now.
Although, by better, I do not mean
“well” or
“recovered.”
I just mean
“different” and
“not as bad.”

I don’t cry every day anymore.
But I cried Sunday.
Putting away my darling
Malou’s
things,
disassembling her corner.

It’s just not right.

This is not my life.

Oh, wait. It is.

I just sometimes wish it wasn’t.

But to avoid ending this on such a low note
I will say
I am thankful for
my daughter for love
my husband for strength
my mom for compassion
my dad for sensitivity
my brothers and sister-i-l for understanding
my friends for remembering
my cousins for crying
&
my family for accepting
Malou
as a part of our family.

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Published in: on October 22, 2008 at 18:35  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Once again you have written so beautifully, Steph. Malou’s corner was very special and we could all see the love with which it was prepared. You have looked and loved and grieved and wondered what might have been. We all have, with you. But now you are being very brave in taking the next step. I think the first must be the hardest. You are not taking away memories, you are “growing” A mother’s love just grows more and more, there is always enough for every new baby. I read last week in “letters of Love” and I quote “if it was not for my big sister I would not be here and not be the youngest in my family.” Your next baby can say, “if it was not for my big sister, Malou, I would not be the eldest in my family.” We love you, Steph (and Tom) and I pray for you every day.

  2. Hi Steph (and Tom),

    Beautiful, touching, wonderful words! I think you are right on with your feelings and Tom is wonderful to give you support for what you need (which probably varies from day to day). Feelings are what they are. Malou will be with you forever, and forever you and Tom are changed. It’s just getting through the days, and arriving at some point in the future, when feelings become easier to feel perhaps, and life reveals to you all that you became because of Malou.

    Her corner was absolutely lovely! Thanks for the picture.

    Love, Colette

  3. I know that her corner must be a constant reminder to you of her absence. I think your idea was a good one. This way, whenever you are expecting again, you will get to prepare for him or her and feel that excitement again. The dragonflies are beautiful, by the way.

    I know what you mean about her scent. I now wish that I hadn’t washed the blanket I used to hold Ada. It smelled like she did. I don’t think anybody but a mother would hold on to a smell like you and I have.

  4. Your website is beautiful, and even more so, Malou is beautiful. I pray that God continues to help you heal and comfort you during the most difficult moments. It is sometimes a struggle to remember that He is always on our side, but only God can truly heal our hearts. I send my hugs and love, and will be thinking of you!


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